Welcome the Devils! Hundreds of fans at King Shaka for Man United

2012-07-17 00:00

FANS braved a rare cold Durban evening and arrived in their hundreds to welcome Sir Alex Ferguson’s men to the country at King Shaka International airport last night.

Flight 5Y8996 landed at around 9.50 pm, and by the time the players emerged from international arrivals at 10.10 pm a mild frenzy had built up amongst the Red Devil fans in their red Manchester United jerseys who waited all day just wanting a glimpse of their stars. United are in the country to play friendly matches against Durban’s AmaZulu FC and Ajax Cape Town.

For many young fans, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Ross Behari (10), with the permission of his father Dulip, had bunked his first day back at school to ensure that he didn’t miss a beat. “We’ve been here since around 10.30 am,” said Dulip, making it difficult to distinguish who was the more excited of the Behari’s.

“We would never miss this, every season we get the new kit. They are the best players in the world and that is why I love them,” added Ross. “Alex Ferguson is the best and he will always be the best.”

For others, the situation was a little too overwhelming to handle.

Bryce Nolan (8) was wide-eyed throughout United’s parade to their tour bus.

“I can’t believe I got to see my heroes so close,” he said shakily after the masses had swiftly left King Shaka. “I like [Javier] Hernandez the most and he even waved at us.” United’s stay in Durban is set to be well received by the public.

They will train at Moses Mabhida today that and fans may attend. Their match against AmaZulu will be hosted at the same venue tomorrow night.

Missing from the touring squad are superstars such as Wayne Rooney, Nemanja Vidic, Ryan Giggs and Nani.

But fans will welcome big names such as Rio Ferdinand, Hernandez, Dimitar Berbatov, Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick. Also on the tour is new Japanese signing Shinji Kagawa, who is travelling with the team for the first time. Kagawa was greeted by a contingent of Japanese fans, all kitted in their side’s national jerseys.

Undoubtedly the moment of the evening was when Ferguson himself emerged from the crowd of players and officials.

Treated to a hero’s welcome and without any visible gum chewing taking place, the 70-year-old Scottish manager wore a reserved smile and gave a slight wave to his followers. But this was enough for Durban’s contingent of Red Devils, who erupted at his every gesture. United leave Durban on Thursday, when they will journey to Cape Town for the clash with Ajax on Saturday.

Full Manchester United touring squad:

Lindegaard, Amos, Johnstone, Ferdinand, Veseli, Vermijil, Wootton, Blacket, Valencia, Anderson, Carrick, Scholes, Powell, Kagawa, Bebe, Tunnicliffe, Lingard, Brady, Petrucci, Berbatov, Hernandez, Macheda

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